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The crowds are gathering and the speakers are pumping — check out the best music events in Singapore, where there’s something for everyone no matter what tempo you tap your feet to.
At Neon Lights, the most comprehensive and eclectic music & arts festival in Singapore yet, you’re guaranteed a great time. Regardless of your age or taste in music, there’s something for you at the stellar show featuring a variety of international and local performers. Breaking the mould with acts of all forms and genres, they’ve showcased indie and electronic musicians, and even spoken word poetry and stand-up comedy.
Brought to you by a team of directors who have curated outdoor music festivals in Ireland, UK, and Australia, Neon Lights first hit our shores in 2015. Its inaugural edition saw acts such as Damien Rice, Rachael Yamagata, Flight Facilities, drag revue RIOT!, as well as stand-up comics presented by Comedy Masala. 2016’s line-up includes headliners Foals and Sigur Rós, alongside Yuna, Chairlift, Crystal Castles, and local musicians Gentle Bones, Cashew Chemists and Linying.
Neon Lights takes place in the month of November. Read more about it and get your tickets here.
St Jerome's Laneway Festival
Over 12 hours of great music, delicious food, and lots of fun — that's what you can expect at the famed St Jerome's Laneway Festival. Held in January each year, this indie-focused festival is all about tunes, bands, and singers that are anything but mainstream. Past headliners include Two Door Cinema Club, Foals, Chvrches, Grimes, and Haim — just to name a few. The action spans across two stages so you get incredible live music non-stop for the entire day.
Music aside, the F&B situation at Laneway never fails to impress. 2016 saw a spread of delectable offerings from Melt Bar, The Fabulous Baker Boy, Common Man Coffee Roasters, and many more.
Pro tip: Since Laneway’s also known for being where hipsters go to see and be seen, don't be afraid to dress the part. For more Laneway survival tips, check out this article by TimeOut Singapore.
Read more about St Jerome’s Laneway Festival here.
Singapore International Jazz Festival
This one’s for all you hepcats and babes of jazz, where the sax is smooth and the piano’s got groove — get ready to sway along to your favourite performers at the Singapore International Jazz Festival.
Affectionately dubbed SingJazz, the outdoor festival happens along the stretch of Marina Bay. Take in the view with whiskey in hand, and revel in a night of great music, delectable food and a bar that never goes dry.
Highlights of the past years include Bobby McFerrin, Joss Stone, Jessie J, Jamie Cullum, local singer-songwriter Dru Chen, neo-vintage soul funk band The Steve McQueens, as well as the late great soul crooner Natalie Cole.
Read more about SingJazz here.
Singapore Symphony Orchestra
Calling all classical music aficionados! Whether you’re Debussy devotees or lovers of Liszt, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has a series of concerts and performances lined up for you.
There’s almost always something happening on the weekends with SSO – 2016’s events include the Victoria Concert Hall Chamber Series, SSO Classics in the Park at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, as well as a special performance by Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.
For more happenings and updates, visit SSO’s official website.
Since its inception in 1999, the Miami-based music festival has set the bar for electronic dance music (EDM) extravaganzas all over the world. Big names such as Skrillex, Alesso, and Nicky Romero headlined the 2015 spinoff Road to Ultra in Singapore, and 2016’s full-fledged Ultra Singapore saw the likes of deadmau5, Far East Movement, Kygo and more performing across three different festival stages.
Ultra is the massive music party of the year that will get you raving, so don’t miss out! Read more about Ultra here.
It's The Ship
Fancy attending a music festival out at sea on a luxury cruise ship? It’s The Ship is a unique party featuring international and regional headlining acts covering a range of genres, from EDM to Trap and House.
Previous editions of It's The Ship have taken place on board the Royal Caribbean International’s Mariner of The Seas over four days and three nights, making a trip from the Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore to Langkawi and back. Big names that have graced the decks and stages of the lively seafaring event include Kaskade, Tiger Lily, Peking Duk, and Ferry Corsten.
It’s The Ship returns for its third voyage to sea in 2016, which features Knife Party, Far East Movement, Dada Life and the legendary David Hasselhoff. Read more about it here.
One of the region's biggest dance music festivals since 2000, ZoukOut has seen top DJs like Avicii, Paul van Dyk, and Afrojack helming the decks at this enormous outdoor beach fiesta. Be sure to have the energy to stick around; ZoukOut is a dusk-to-dawn music festival and you're going to need all that stamina to last till sunrise.
ZoukOut happens every December at Siloso Beach, Sentosa. Read more about ZoukOut here.
So whether it’s partying the night away to tunes spun by EDM heavyweights or an afternoon in the park set to the sounds of Vivaldi, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to live music events in Singapore. And let’s not forget local artists too — check out Baybeats for three days of top Singaporean talent.